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United Rentals closes nine-figure acquisition

July 31, 2018

United Rentals, the world’s largest equipment-rental company, announced Tuesday it had completed the approximately $715 million acquisition of liquid-management firm BakerCorp International Holdings.

The all-cash deal would increase revenues and improve customer service and save about $19 million in overhead and shared services, according to United officials. They said customers would benefit from the combination of Seal Beach, Calif.-based BakerCorp’s fluid storage, transfer and treatment services with United’s Pump Solutions business. In total, United will add 24,000 units to its fleet through the transaction.

“We set a high bar across strategic, financial and cultural metrics when evaluating any acquisition; BakerCorp met every test, with the additional advantage of being primed to benefit from our systems and technology,” United CEO Michael Kneeland said in a statement, when the deal was announced on July 2. “We expect the combination to augment our revenue, earnings and (adjusted earnings) in 2018, while propelling the growth of one of our most promising specialty segments.”

BakerCorp has approximately 950 employees serving more than 4,800 customers in North America and Europe. Its operations are concentrated in the U.S. and Canada, where it has 46 locations. It also operates across 11 locations in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

During its 21-year history, United has carried out hundreds of deals. Last October, the company completed the $1.3 billion acquisition of Miami-based Neff, one of the largest U.S. equipment-rental firms, with some 1,200 employees and a presence in 14 states. In April 2017, United closed on the acquisition of Chicago-based NES Rentals for about $965 million.

In the second quarter, United’s profits jumped to $183 million, nearly double from a year ago, reflecting a boost from the tax reform passed by Congress last year. Revenues for the past three months reached $1.89 billion, up 18 percent from the same period in 2017.

United shares closed Tuesday at about $149, up 2.3 percent from their Monday finish.

pschott@scni.com; 203-964-2236; twitter: @paulschott

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